November/December 2020 | Vol. 25 No. 6
by Danny Abbate, Industry Director, Building Infrastructure Division, NEMA
The United States’ neighbor to the south, Mexico, is a key trading and manufacturing partner for NEMA Members. Since 1992, manufacturers have worked within the framework of the Federal Law on Metrology and Standardization (LFMN, or “Metrology Law”). For all merchandise sold into the Mexican market, this national mandatory regulation stipulated the procedures for certification, accreditation, and verification.
In July, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador published in the Mexican Official Gazette the new Law on Quality Infrastructure (LIC) that went into effect on September 1, 2020. The primary objectives of this update are to organize standardization, compliance testing, and metrology procedures. Additionally, the new law will streamline the regulatory framework to properly reflect commitments assumed by the Mexican government pursuant to international treaties and best practices.
The structure of the Quality Infrastructure Law will be as follows:
- Book One, The National Quality Infrastructure System
- Book Two, The Quality and Innovation System
- Book Three, Metrology
- Book Four, Final Provisions
Key changes from the LFMN to the LIC:
- Mexico now accepts international Standards such as ISO and IEC.
- Voluntary Standards can be developed by many types of organizations, including industry chambers, academic and research institutions, schools, and associations.
- Voluntary Mexican Standards (currently NMXs) will be referred to only as “Standards.”
- Editorial modifications to existing Standards will no longer have to be authorized via the annual National Standardization Plan.
- Each Standard is required to include a section identifying relevant international
- Standards with a description of the similarities between them.
- Goods and services offered for importation must show evidence of compliance with the Official Mexican Standard, in accordance with the applicable Compliance Testing Procedure, such as certificates, rulings, or test results from a Compliance Testing Agency or from an outside third party in accordance with the provisions in the Regulations.
- If no Official Mexican Standard is applicable, relevant authorities can require that the goods/services demonstrate compliance
- with applicable International Standards or Technical Regulations of the country of origin or, in the absence of these, those pertaining to the manufacturer.
- The new law allows for more accreditation and certification bodies.
- Compliance Testing Agencies may subcontract compliance testing assessment or inspection services to a third-party Compliance Testing Agency that has been accredited and approved in the subject matter.
- Certifications performed by foreign laboratories will not be accepted outright. There must first be a mutual recognition or equivalence agreement in place.
- For enforcement, verification is under the purview of the Mexican government and surveillance is overseen by Standards developing organizations and certification bodies. ei